Typically, adult patients come in for a hearing test because they have noticed difficulty hearing, fullness in the ears, ringing, or dizziness. The purpose of performing a hearing evaluation on an adult is to determine if there is hearing loss, identify whether it is medically treatable, and to ascertain whether a patient is a candidate for hearing aids.
Here is what to expect from your hearing evaluation:
- Tympanometry: This test uses a small probe placed in the ear to determine the function of the ear drum. You will likely feel a little pressure in the ear during the test. This is used to rule out any fluid behind the ear drum and will reveal if there is a hole in the ear drum.
- Speech Recognition Threshold: You will be asked to repeat some two-syllable words as they decrease in volume. The goal of this test is to find the softest sound at which you can understand speech. Don't become frustrated, it's okay to guess!
- Pure-tone testing: This test requires that you raise your hand or say "yes" when you hear the beep. This allows me to see the softest sounds that you can hear for a number of pitches. It also shows where the hearing loss is located and helps determine whether it may be medically treatable.
- Word Recognition Score: During this test I will have you repeat words at a comfortably loud level. The words will begin with a carrier phrase "say the word". This test reveals whether you can understand the words if I make them loud enough. Patients who have a high word recognition score will do well with hearing aids as the increase in volume allows them to understand speech very well.
Upon completion of the test, you will be counseled on the next step of treatment. Sometimes, a medical condition exists in which it is best to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician. If no medical condition exists and hearing loss is present, you will be scheduled for a hearing aid consultation where we will discuss your hearing aid options and even allow you to try them out for yourself.